Couple Visiting London

ENGLISH

English may not be the most spoken language in the world, but it is the official language of 53 countries and spoken by around 400 million people across the globe.

 

Being able to speak English is not just about being able to communicate with native English speakers, it is the most common second language in the world. 

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WHERE IS IT SPOKEN?

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia, The Bahamas

Barbados, Belize

Canada, Dominica

Grenada, Guyana

Ireland, Jamaica

Malta, New Zealand

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

United Kingdom

United States of America

London City

NUMBER OF SPEAKERS

1,5 BILLION

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LANGUAGE FAMILY

INDO-EUROPEAN

 THREE FUN FACTS ABOUT ENGLISH 

1. “E” is everywhere!

The most common letter in English is “e”. According to Readers Digest, “In an analysis of all 240,000 entries in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, OED editors found that the letter E appears in approximately 11% of all words in the common English vocabulary, about 6,000 more words than the runner-up letter, A. 

What’s more: E is the most commonly struck letter on your keyboard, and the second most popular key after the space bar. It’s one third of the single most-used word in English—“the”—and appears in the most common English noun (“time”), the most common verb (“be”), in ubiquitous pronouns like he, she, me, and we, not to mention tens of thousands of words ending in -ed and -es.” The most common consonant in English? R, followed by T.

2.Letter "b"

If you wrote out all the numbers (i.e. one, two, three…), you would not use the letter “b” until the word “billion.” You can also spell every number up to “1000” without using the letter “a.”

3. The most complex word in the English language is “run.”

“When the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published in 1928, the word with the most definitions was set.” This small word had over 430 definitions and required a 60,000 word definition that covered 24 pages in the Oxford English Dictionary. “However, the word put later outpaced it, and run eventually overtook them both… Winchester thinks this evolution is partly due to advancements in technology (for instance, ‘a train runs on tracks’ and ‘an iPad runs apps’).”